Indian openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma set a strong foundation for India with an opening stand of 93 in the pink ball Test against Australia at Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast.
While Mandhana was off to a brisk start, the otherwise explosive Verma played anchor and plodded along before perishing to Sophie Molineux for 31.
“I didn’t really plan anything before going to bat. I just told myself it’s a format where you can take time. I just wanted to go out there and react to the ball. I think Shafali was batting well. Sometimes there might be a bowl that is swinging or seaming. But definitely I don’t think there was a plan where Shafali is defensive and I’m aggressive. I don’t think we’ll ever plan anything of that sort,” Mandhana said.
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The opening duo had put up a mammoth 167-run opening partnership against England in a one-off Test earlier in the year, and Mandhana said they enjoyed batting together.
“We just enjoy batting with each other in any format. We just try and back each other. If she is having some problem with something, I will walk to her and tell something. If I chase one ball outside off, she came to me and said, ‘Didi bahut bahar hai, mat khelo’. We have a good conversation and I think that kind of helps and it is helping us in the Test format. We are telling each other where our off stump is and if we are chasing the ball,” she added.
Mandhana, who was unbeaten on 80 at stumps on day one, said that the Australian pacers may not have adapted their bowling to the wicket.
“I think in the first ten overs they bowled quite short. Especially, considering the wicket. The wicket wasn’t as hard as they would have loved. I think they bowled the way they did like in the one-days, but it suited that wicket. Considering the wicket, they were slightly short in the first ten-fifteen overs, then they kind of made up for it, post that,” she said.